The Boise 19-year-old found dead in a car at Hyatt Hidden Lakes Reserve on Wednesday was an avid skateboarder and voracious reader who “wanted to live somewhere warm and go to culinary school,” his father said Friday.
Now Charles Peyton Chambers, who went by his middle name, is the focus of an investigation that so far has yielded a felony charge against the man who prosecutors say moved Chambers’ body to that gravel parking lot after he died of an apparent overdose.
Tommy S. Basco, 29, is charged with felony failure to notify authorities of a death, and Boise police are looking for information on other people who might have been involved.
The young man’s parents, Charles “Chip” Chambers, of Boise, and Allison High-Chambers, of Salt Lake City, are trying to come to terms with their son’s death.
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“He had his car packed that night to come back home to me when he stopped to say goodbyes and then the tragic events unfolded,” Peyton’s mother said Friday night. “He was coming back to Utah, where he spent most of his growing-up years, to break away from the crowd he had been surrounding himself with in Boise and get a fresh start.
“All this devastation because the people he called ‘friends’ were more concerned with getting in trouble than calling 911 to save his life.”
High-Chambers also said that people “ransacked his car like a pack of hyenas and took all the belongings he had packed to bring.”
“Since the time he was just a little boy my cuddle bug was full of light. He was extremely independent, smart, articulate, kind-hearted and compassionate, funny, brave and outgoing,” she said.
Chip Chambers said his son “loved longboarding, whitewater rafting, going to concerts and being with friends and family. He loved to read, especially anything on World War II.”
Peyton Chambers also enjoyed cooking and earlier this year held jobs at Sakana Sushi Bar and Grill and the Tilted Kilt. He particularly liked preparing dishes with sushi, his father said.
Yousef Ramadan, who worked with Chip Chambers as a landscaper and briefly shared a duplex with Peyton Chambers, launched a GoFundMe page for the family Thursday to raise money to bury the teen in Provo, Utah, where he was born.
“I never met a more respectful young man who looked up to his father so much,” Ramadan said. He indicated that Peyton Chambers had in recent months fallen in with “bad role models” and drug use.
Chip Chambers said his son, a 2015 graduate of Boise High School, had many good friends from his high school days, but Basco was “not a friend.”
An account of Peyton Chambers’ death came out in an Ada County courtroom Friday as a deputy prosecutor recounted what Basco reportedly told Boise police.
He told investigators Chambers overdosed on heroin at Basco’s home early this week, and Basco tried to revive him by putting him in a bathtub of cold water and injecting him with methamphetamine, Deputy Prosecutor Tamera Kelly said. Chambers reportedly got up and walked around after that, she said, and then went into another room to sleep.
Basco told police that he found Chambers dead the next morning and moved him, Kelly said. A passer-by noticed Chambers unresponsive about 10:30 a.m. Wednesday inside a car parked in a gravel lot at Hidden Lakes Reserve, along Maple Grove Road.
The Ada County Coroner’s Office has not confirmed how the teen died.
Investigators determined that Chambers likely had died elsewhere and been moved into the car, and they developed information that led to a search warrant for Basco’s Boise residence, the prosecutor said. Investigators also found “a fair amount of drugs and paraphernalia” at Basco’s home, Kelly said, noting that Basco has a 2008 conviction for drug possession with intent to deliver.
Basco was arrested Thursday evening and taken to the Ada County Jail.
Fourth District Judge Michael Oths set Basco’s bond at $100,000, with a preliminary hearing scheduled for 8:30 a.m. Nov. 9. Prosecutors asked for a $250,000 bond, but a public defender argued that Basco is a self-employed father of five with strong ties to the community. Public records show he operated Basco’s Concrete Construction.
The funeral for Peyton Chambers is set for Friday, Nov. 4, in Provo, and a celebration of his life will be held in Boise on Sunday, Nov. 6, his father said. The time and place for that have not been set.
Kristin Rodine: 208-377-6447
Law enforcement investigators are seeking additional information regarding Peyton Chambers’ death. Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 343-2677 or leave a tip via the P3 Tips smartphone app.